Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Set Free is a triumph, full of tunes that affect well beyond their modest means.
  2. 90
    Set Free is no rehash, simply an album whose parameters are clearly defined in order that its interiors can be brought to life. [#69, p.86]
  3. It shimmers and sulks, adding a rich dimension to the group's already delicious sound.
  4. Set Free gives 2001’s Know by Heart - critically acclaimed and widely regarded as Amanset’s masterpiece - a serious run for its money.
  5. It remains to be seen whether this is the record for which American Analog Set's fans have been waiting a decade, but Set Free is definitely one of the most consistent, mature albums they've made to date.
  6. Never ratcheted up over a pleasantly throbbing pulse, this is music as anti-depressant, mood enhancer, and muscle relaxant.
  7. 80
    A late-night dorm room essential. [Oct 2005, p.84]
  8. While earlier efforts verged on immateriality, Set Free memorably mixes acoustic strums, brushed drums and Andrew Kenny's wistful vocals. [Nov 2005, p.208]
  9. While it sounded on 2003’s Promise of Love that the American Analog Set were turning themselves into a shoegaze-revival band, Set Free sounds more in line with the gentle atmospheric rock on their finest album, 1999’s The Golden Band.
  10. American Analog Set have been accused of writing the same song over and over - and over - again, and Set Free isn't immune to that.
  11. For existing fans, they'll either be happy to hear another assured rehash of the band's classic sound, or disappointed that it's just a rehash.
  12. 70
    While Kenny still sounds like he's mumbling mantras to himself, the band's soft-focus allure remains undiminished. [Oct 2005, p.102]
  13. This is the most engrossing American Analog Set album in six or seven years.
  14. Set Free is ultimately just another American Analog Set album-- and probably the least essential at that.
  15. Set Free’s singularity is also its greatest flaw, and a band that adheres to a formula as strictly as the AmAnSet does to its will never make a masterpiece, despite the fact that every track on this album is good.
  16. The band could use some clearer lyrics and a stronger focus. And leave the instrumentals to groups with more than two prominent instruments.
  17. There are some good tracks... but after 10 years and now their sixth full-length, you would think the band would just get bored making so much of the same music. [#11, p.109]
  18. Terrific to get stoned to, the unfortunate upshot being that this is music that makes you fall asleep. [3 Sep 2005, p.74]
  19. Monotonous riffs are churned out at a snail's pace. [Oct 2005, p.114]
  20. 40
    Pleasantly discreet, resolutely unengaging. [Oct 2005, p.107]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. T-WiLL
    Oct 19, 2005
    8
    A consistent album on the whole that nicely compliments their back catologue. Slightly less hookier than their past album, "Know By Heart", A consistent album on the whole that nicely compliments their back catologue. Slightly less hookier than their past album, "Know By Heart", however, the single "She's Half" will be a fixture on many mixed cd compilations in the future. Full Review »
  2. NickS
    Sep 25, 2005
    8
    Good album, much better than Promise of Love. I don't quite understand the comparison to Know by Heart however, if it sounds like any of Good album, much better than Promise of Love. I don't quite understand the comparison to Know by Heart however, if it sounds like any of their albums it would be the Golden Band. Loved the instrumental track especially, If you've listened to AmAnSet before, then you know what this album is like and you know that it will be good. Full Review »